The Funds’ first investment in telecommunications was made in 1994 in FGI Wireless (which eventually became today’s Vimpelcom, one of Russia’s largest mobile telephony operators). The company was a pioneer in cellular network development in Russia. Since 1994, Baring Vostok funds have invested over $850 million in 30 companies in the internet, software, media, and telecommunications sector.
Golden Telecom

Golden Telecom

Leading digital telephone communication operator and Internet access provider in Russia and Ukraine (now a part of Vimpelcom). Fully exited in 2007
Moscow, Russia

Golden Telecom became one of the leaders among alternative communication and data transfer network operators in Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. In 2008 Vimpelcom purchased 100% of Golden Telecom shares.

In 1983, San Francisco Moscow Teleport (SFMT), a non-commercial Soviet-American project of cooperation in the telecommunications field, was launched. In 1993, SFMT changed its name into Global TeleSystems. The First NIS Regional Fund became one of the first shareholders of GTS in 1995.

Development stages:

  • Between 1995 and 1999, GTS grew rapidly and purchased companies specialising in different kinds of telecommunication services, including Sovintel, TCM and Teleross. The Fund invested in GTS and also financed the foundation of an affiliated company in Ukraine. At the same time, GTS began investing in telecommunication projects in Western and Eastern Europe, so the strategic focus gradually moved to Europe.
  • After the 1998 financial crisis in Russia, GTS decided to separate its Russian operations and create a new entity. In 1999, the First NIS Regional Fund sold its shares of GTS and converted its shares of Golden Telecom Ukraine into the shares of the new company (Golden Telecom). Baring Vostok Private Equity Fund also became an anchor investor in Golden Telecom’s IPO in October 1999.
  • In 2001, Baring Vostok Private Equity Fund bought the remaining Golden Telecom shares from GTS in a joint deal with Alfa Bank and Capital International. The strategy of the company was revised and major changes were also made to the company’s management structure.
  • In 2002, Golden Telecom bought out the shares of Sovintel from its partner Rostelecom, and completed the transition to a single, unified business platform.
  • In 2003, Golden Telecom was launched as a unified nationwide brand, under which the renewed and enhanced Sovintel continued its work on the Russian market.
  • Between 1999 and 2002, average annual sales growth was 27 percent, while between 2003 and 2005 it was 53 percent.
  • In 2007, the volume of sales was over $900 million, 9.5 times higher than the figure for 1999. Over the same period, annual profit increased sixfold.
  • In 2007, Golden Telecom was acquired by Vimpelcom.

Other projects


30 May 2018

CFT Rated among Russia's Major IT Companies.

CNews Analytics agency has published its analytical review ”IT Market: Results 2017”. The review included ratings of the branch participants. Based on last year’s activity, CFT moved up 5 ranks in the rating ”Russia’s Major IT Companies 2017” (CNews100) to number 12 in the list. In the rating ”Russia’s Major IT Developers 2017” CFT remained number 6.
26 March 2018

Papa John's restaurant chain attracts new investors.

PJ Western, master-franchisee of Papa John's international in Russia, the CIS and Central Europe, announces a deal with the Baring Vostok investment fund to increase its total number of restaurants to 450 by December 2020.
23 January 2018

CFT supports banks in complying with SWIFT CSP security requirements.

In 2017, CFT was included in the Directory of Cyber Security Service Providers accredited for implementation of the SWIFT Customer Security Programme. The company started implementing the projects on attestation and analysis of the connection security of the financial institutions’ IT infrastructure to SWIFT.
13 September 2012 has been acknowledged the fastest Russian federal internet provider.

According to Net Index , telecom operator is the fastest federal internet provider in Russia. The average internet speed that provides to its Subscribers in 42 cities of presence amounts to 35 Mbit/sec., which is more than two times higher than the average internet speed in Russia (about 16 Mbit/sec.).

22 August 2012 offers a new format for services consumption – the HD.

Telecom services operator launches new bundled offers in all the 42 cities of presence, comprising the basic telecom services – high-speed internet, cable and HD TV, and telephony. The key characteristics of the bundles are the utmost speed of internet access (up to 100 Mbit/sec around the clock) and the highest number of HD channels in the basic TV package among digital TV operators (23 channels), which enables the company’s Subscribers to consume high-quality HD content in the most convenient manner – with the help of a TV set or in the internet from any video-supporting mobile device.